Although the state travel
industry has shown notable gains in 2010, we’re not out of the woods yet.
True, the number of passengers flying through California’s top 10
airports is up 5 percent in 2010, and the number of hotel rooms sold through
July increased 7.5 percent over last year, but we can’t afford to getcomplacent about sustained economic recovery.

mitigate future economic
downturns and thrive, it’s important we think of investments over
thelong haul. For the California travel industry, we’ve been
our tourism marketing efforts as a long-term investment, striking a
balancebetween investments in our high-return domestic markets and
international markets, whose travelers tend to stay longer, spend more
represent the highest growth potential long-term.

statistics prove this strategy is paying off. Although many destinations have
cut back on marketing international travel, leaner and meaner approaches have
enabled California to stay in the game globally. This has been critical, as a
rebound in international arrivals this year is expected to outpace the domestic
visitor rebound.

travelers – who spent $15.6 billion in California last year (18% of the
state total in visitor spending) – are expected to grow 4 percent in 2010
and 6 percent in 2011, while domestic visitation is expected to grow 3 percent
in 2010 and 4 percent in 2011.

Visitor growth from Asian markets is expected to outperform
growth for other regions in 2010.  California is uniquely positioned to
continue capturing the rebound in travel from Asia, which is buoyed by stronger
Asian economies, easier U.S. entry, and shorter travel times.

The high value of this region is why the California Travel &
Tourism Commission supported the Governor’s recent trade mission to Asia
in China, Japan and South Korea. Visitors from these countries to California
topped 1 million in 2009, spending close to $1.3 billion in the Golden State.

Following a series of trade and media events in Asia, CTTC staff
and several tourism partners continued on to Australia, another booming market.
Aided by an
increase in affordable flights and an economy that weathered the global
recession better than others, more Australian travelers – a record total
of 369,000 – came to California in 2009 than ever before. This represents
an 8 percent increase in Australian travelers, who spent $427 million last
year. Growth in leisure travel from this market is expected to continue with
projected increases of 3 percent in 2010 and 2011. To capitalize on this
opportunity and help drive more growth, CTTC is investing in new brand
advertising to reach consumers directly.

working hard to ensure that it makes the wisest marketing investments
– such as targeted international efforts – to keep
California’s tourism industry ahead of the recession curve and booming.
In my new role as board member of the Corporation for Travel Promotion,
I will
do everything I can to ensure that the U.S. travel industry stays
strong ininternational markets, which will help the country and
California over the long
term – not only in revenues but also jobs. Tourism spending employs
881,000 state residents, and international visitor spending alone
approximately 157,000 Californians in 2009.

get more involved in CTTC’s marketing efforts in Asia and beyond, visit